It’s two days after the 2024 Grammys, where rock supergroup Boygenius, made up of Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, and Lucy Dacus, won big, and Baker isn’t speaking to her bandmates. But it’s not for any reason that the internet rumor mill has speculated on in the last 24 hours. She isn’t speaking to anyone. As Dacus, calling in via Zoom alongside Baker, tells Vanity Fair, her bandmate lost her voice amid the Sunday-night celebrations, which included playing Post Malone’s “Congratulations” multiple times and culminated in a 4 a.m. bedtime.
Dacus dictates Baker’s written response: “I screamt like I’d never screamt.”
Bridgers, dialing in separately from her home in Los Angeles, adds, “We didn’t drink after the show or at any parties, but I felt hungover all yesterday. Just excitement hungover.”
There was much on Sunday to excite “the boys,” as the bandmates call one another. The trio took home awards for best rock song and best rock performance for their song “Not Strong Enough” and best alternative album for their collaborative labor of love, The Record.
Asked where they’d keep their new hardware, Dacus imagines filling in some gaps on her bookshelf, while Bridgers, who took home the most awards of anyone at this year’s Grammys (she earned an additional trophy for best pop duo/group performance for her feature on SZA’s “Ghost in the Machine”) is plotting revenge against her boyfriend (she is dating the comedian Bo Burnham, a 2022 Grammy winner). “[He] put his Grammy by my side of the bed to fuck with me,” she says. “Now I kind of want to put four just crowding his bedside table. I think that’d be funny.” His and hers Grammys in typical LA home-decor fashion? “Yeah, but I got way fucking more,” she says with a laugh.
Dacus chimes in, “His and hers and hers and hers and hers.”
Boygenius’s big wins were indicative of a historic night at the typically male-dominated awards show. On Sunday women won all the major categories. Like many viewers tuning in, the trio soaked in Tracy Chapman’s rare live performance, cried watching Joni Mitchell take the stage, and witnessed Taylor Swift announce her upcoming album, The Tortured Poets Department.
“I was like, ‘No way. Is this happening?’” says Dacus, squashing rumors that the trio had any involvement in Swift’s new record.
“She keeps that shit Fort Knox,” adds Baker.
While the night undoubtedly had its historic overtones, Dacus and Bridgers shared a simple take: Women made the best music of the year and so women won awards, signaling that the needle is moving in the right direction. “I think that’s actually good,” says Dacus. “I wasn’t thinking about the percentage of men versus women. Thinking about it like that is not helpful.”
That said, the group was mindful of the awards history—both recent and long-running—in their post-Grammys interviews. During a press conference at the ceremony, Bridgers brought up former Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow, who has been accused of sexual assault in a lawsuit filed in November. (“The allegations in the complaint are completely false,” a spokesperson for Portnow told Vanity Fair.) In 2018, while still head of the Academy, Portnow had admonished female musicians to “step up” in response to a question about a lack of women winners. He later issued an apology. “Rot in piss,” said Bridgers on Sunday.
Citing pioneers like Big Mama Thornton and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Bridgers expands on her statement. “Women have been making rock music since there’s been rock music. There’s so much fucking erasure especially with the Grammys,” she says. “Lana [Del Rey] should have won a long time ago. Mitski should be acknowledged in any fucking way. There’s countless people. For [Portnow] to say that women aren’t working hard enough to get these awards is the stupidest shit ever. I was like, why not say it here where everybody knows who this guy is?”
The boys celebrated the night in their signature style, arriving on the red carpet in custom matching white Thom Browne suits with pink carnations pinned to their lapels (with coordinating Thom Browne umbrellas to keep them dry on the walk over to the venue). Dacus explains that the outfits, a prom-inspired take on their tour uniforms, referenced a lyric from their own song “We’re in Love,” which was a reference to Elliott Smith wearing a white suit to the Oscars in 1998 and being told to remove the pink carnation he wanted to wear. Smith’s inspiration? The Marty Robbins song “A White Sport Coat (and a Pink Carnation).”
Bridgers adds, “We were like, let’s have fun at all the pregame shit this week and dress slutty or in black because we knew exactly what we wanted to wear to the Grammys because it was such a lyric reference.” The idea quickly snowballed between the three and came to life in collaboration with Browne.
“That’s what’s cute about this band: It all just congeals,” says Bridgers. “We’re around each other so much that it’s kind of like one brain.”
Getting ready for the Grammys together in one hotel room also lends itself to this sort of collaboration. “It wouldn’t even occur to me [to get ready] separately in this band because we’ll be like, ‘What do you think of this?’ I’ll have one of my eyes done and be like, ‘Phoebe, what do you think?’” says Dacus.
Also pinned to their lapels were red pins that read “Artists for Ceasefire,” in reference to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
“I thought there would be more artists wearing them, to be honest. I think probably a lot of people just never found out, but I’m sure there is a contingent of people who didn’t want to upset their outfit,” says Dacus, who was previously spotted at a pro-Palestine rally with Baker.
Annie Lennox, during her tribute to Sinead O’Connor, befittingly echoed the call for a cease-fire. “[That] was so powerful, it felt cool to be communicating with those people in the room,” says Bridgers. Reading a message written by Baker, Dacus adds, “It can seem sometimes when liberal or progressive politics are rewarded by the arts or by celebrities online, it’s a foregone conclusion that you align with the cease-fire. We’ve been seeing people we know in TV and film and peripheral industries be fired in silence and it seemed like it actually was meaningful and high-stakes to say in such a visible place.”
In the hours leading up to this interview, eagle-eyed fans noticed that Dacus and Bridgers were no longer following each other or Boygenius on Instagram and that they had pretty much wiped their profiles, fueling rumors that their announced hiatus was born of bad blood.
“We are meeting up for dinner after this call. Everyone can be rest assured that we still love each other,” says Dacus, addressing their fans like children of a nonexistent divorce.
“I made the decision three years ago to take a massive step back. I think we all want a little break,” says Bridgers. “I can’t function if I do anything in 2024 that is public. The boys have been my biggest supporters in that. I’m excited to see you guys at [dinner] tonight.”
As for the unfollowing, turns out they were both engaging in some social media housekeeping with plans to log off for the time being.
“It’s not supposed to initiate a countdown or anything,” says Dacus.
“I can’t feel my life right now, and I’m working to be able to, and the internet doesn’t help,” admits Bridgers.
Nodding, Baker types, “Healthy.”
Having spent a year performing and doing press, Boygenius are understandably relieved to be winding down. They want to revel in silence and finally make plans to watch Paddington 2, they say. But before they sign off they have one more thing to add, that didn’t make it into their acceptance speeches on Sunday, which Bridgers tees up for Dacus.
“Throughout this year different people have told us that we represent different things to them, but I think that if we represent anything, it’s that you can determine the circumstances of your own creation,” says Dacus. “You don’t have to abide by weirdos, abusers, pedophiles, all these people that are like beasts walking around the industry still. Phoebe said something that I thought was brilliant, which is that if someone tells you that they have the key to your success, you’re holding their key. You might feel like you’re going to miss your big-ticket moment. You’re not. And even if you got your big ticket, if you did it alongside people that you can’t celebrate with, it’s going to feel hollow.”
Dacus kicks it back to Bridgers, who adds, “Old men mostly need young people to make them relevant, and don’t let them trick you into thinking that they’re making you relevant. They need you or they will die in obscurity. Make it with people you like or don’t do it.”
Credits: Thom Browne Team: Cameron Cipolla, Colleen Sheehan; Styling Team: Lindsey Hartman, Asst Kelly Page; Makeup: Gianpaolo Ceciliato, Asst Caitlin Wronski; Hair: Josue Perez Asst. Hailey Watkins
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